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Old 08-14-2016, 11:11 AM   #1
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Grounding Generators

I'm a newbe and I read the forum almost daily and have learned a lot from it. I'm planning on putting a generator in the bed of the TV for boondocking and would like to know if it needs to be grounded and how? my knowledge of electricity is changing a light bulb and flipping a switch. Your advice is always appreciated.
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Old 08-14-2016, 12:40 PM   #2
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Short answer is no*.
Would it hurt to do so? Again, no.

*Some RVS with transfer switches may have problems if generator has floating neutral as they detect if neutral is bonded to ground. This doesn't mean generator needs to be grounded.
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Old 08-14-2016, 01:59 PM   #3
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grounding generators

Unless you are in a place where at least 1 8 foot ground rod is driven into the earth grounding the generator properly is virtually impossible.
Tying the neutral to the ground without actually grounding the unit properly does NOTHING.
Although it may be necessary to bond the neutral to fool the GFCI's.
Since the generator is "isolated" from the earth electrically. Meaning it is different that "grid" power. The chance of getting shocked is minimal since there is no return path other than the wiring to the generator itself. So as long as you don't put yourself in a position of being between the two wires or circuits that the generator provides power. You are not going to be shocked.
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Old 08-14-2016, 02:35 PM   #4
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"Install the Ground Rod Horizontally. If you hit a rock trench before you can hammer the rod down all eight feet, then you can simply install it horizontally. Shovel out a strip of the earth at least 2 1/2 feet deep and long enough to accommodate the entire 8' grounding rod."

The reason for using a N/G plug for your genset is to enable the use of a circuit monitor or surge protector without causing a fault code.

I use a dogbone adaptor that I modified.



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Old 08-14-2016, 06:29 PM   #5
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So you dig a 2 1/2' x 8' trench where ever you are camped. Sounds like a lot of work if you move more than twice a year.
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Old 08-14-2016, 11:13 PM   #6
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If you attempt to use a "surge protector" between your RV and your ungrounded/floating ground generator the surge protector either will not allow current onto the RV, or it will not provide surge protection. For most situations, this is an unimportant matter...simply don't use a surge protector.

But if you are a "purist"... then use an 8-gauge wire (or battery jumper cables) to connect the generator frame to the RV frame.... and use the other jumper cable to connect your generator frame to a rod driven into the earth (at least 18" , but the deeper the better.)

Do NOT connect the generator ground or frame to the park water system. Not only is that not likely to work properly because the park likely uses PVC plumbing, but you also will place the entire park in danger should your generator back-feed.
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